Guru Round Up: This Weeks Industry News

Adaptive Learning Platforms Knewton & Grockit Get Boost to Funding

“Last week, the test prep company Knewton announced that it had raised $33 million, bringing the total amount raised by the company to $54 million. And today, another test prep startup Grockitannounces its latest fundraising: $7 million, bringing its total investment to over $24 million. Clearly there’s big money in test prep. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, fueled in no small part by the pressures on students to do well on SATs, GMATs, LSATs, and the like.”

America’s Top Schools Are Still Mediocre Against International Peers

“We developed the Global Report Card (GRC) to facilitate such a comparison. The GRC enables users to compare academic achievement in math and reading between 2004 and 2007 for virtually every public school district in the United States with the average achievement in a set of 25 other countries with developed economies that might be considered our economic peers and sometime competitors. “

Online Schools Making a Difference Graduation Rates of at Risk Teens

“The International Association for K–12 Online Learning, which goes by the acronym iNACOL, estimates that 82 percent of school districts now offer at least one online course. Thirty-two states have virtual schools where online offerings range from one class to an entire high-school curriculum, according to an annual report on online learning published by the Evergreen Education Group, a Colorado consultancy. At the Florida Virtual School alone, students collectively took 220,000 classes online in 2009–10 (see “Florida’s Online Option,”features, Summer 2009). Twenty-six states have at least one full-time online school, and perhaps 225,000 youngsters were full-time online students this year, says John Watson, editor of the Evergreen report.”

Can Charter School Success Work In Traditional Schools?

“It’s difficult, but a new study suggests, it’s also doable. Harvard economist Roland Fryerpublished research last week showing that the education policies that have succeeded in charter schools can also increase test scores in traditional, public schools.
Fryer looked at “No Excuses” charter schools, places like the Harlem Promise Academy and KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) schools, to get a sense of how they had made such big education gains in low-income communities. He boiled it down to five “best practices,” including longer school days, better teachers and data-driven education, that emphasized education gains.”

Bundle Discount, Now Available From CollegeBookRenter

“Every student is looking for new ways to save on their books.  Today we’re featuring our new “bundle discount”.  Bring us your book list and we will give you an automatic additional discount when you rent 3 or more books at one time.   CBR is known to have the most competitive prices on individual books, but when you bundle your order, you save even more. ”

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